The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I actually stated on someone’s blog this week that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a more appropriate title. Beautiful Disaster is definitely aptly titled. There is nothing sweet or sugar coated about this book at all. It is totally and completely raw and that simple fact is what makes it such a poignant read.
I must admit that I don’t think that this is a read for everyone. Especially young teens. What these characters live through and experience is painful and intense. The main characters spend a majority of this book torturing not only each other, but themselves. It is absolutely impossible for me to imagine any reader walking away from this book not feeling some type of powerful emotion. Even if it is complete dislike of the entire concept, I doubt if anyone can deny feeling something.
Both Travis and Abby are damaged. They’re living life with the ‘cards’ they were dealt and they are both dealing, but not well. Regardless of how much they fight it, they thrive together. I realize that it is a dependency relationship, but compared to any other relationship that either one of these characters has ever had, they’re better off. I’ll admit that by the end of the book I had almost had enough of the denial and the back and forth between these two. Neither one of them is stable yet not many people their age have been through as much as they had been. Clinging to each other may not have been healthy but they were worse apart.
This isn’t your average contemporary YA novel. From the reviews I’ve glanced at, I’d say that readers that are more comfortable with the alpha males found in paranormal books are going to be better equipped to handle this one. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that it should be limited to those readers. It just means that when you pick up Beautiful Disaster you should know what you are in for.
The sequel to this book is Walking Disaster and it is the events of Beautiful Disaster written from Travis’ POV. Given the way things unfold in Beautiful Disaster, the next installment should be not only just as intense, but extremely interesting.